Tag Archives: Jim Leyland

MLB: Do second basemen make the best managers?

Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Baltimore Orioles skipper Buck Showalter earlier this season became the 58th manager in major league history to win 1,000 or more games in the major leagues. The 56-year-old Showalter, who previously managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers, has the Orioles in a tie for first place in the American League East race.

Of those 58 managers with 1,000-plus wins, 51 also played in the majors. Showalter is one of the seven men who did not play in the majors.

So here’s the question: What position has “birthed” the most 1,000-win managers in the majors?

Second basemen top the list with 11. Recently-retired skipper Tony LaRussa played second base in the “bigs” and tops the list of second basemen turned managers with the most wins, 2,728. LaRussa stands third on the all-time list of wins by a manager behind Connie Mack (a catcher) and John McGraw (a third baseman).

Following are the number of managers who have won 1,000 or more games at each position these managers played in the majors. Also listed is the manager who has won the most games at each position.

Position, Number of Managers with 1,000 wins, Most wins

Second Basemen, 11 (Tony LaRussa, 2,728)

Catchers, 8 (Connie Mack, 3,731)

Shortstops, 6 (Leo Durocher, 2,008)

Third Basemen, 6 (John McGraw, 2,763)

First Basemen, 6 (Walter Alston, 2,040)

Left Fielders, 5 (Lou Piniella, 1,835)

Right Fielders, 5 (Casey Stengel, 1,905)

Pitchers, 2 (Tommy Lasorda, 1,599)

Center Fielders, 2 (Ned Hanlon, 1,313)

Here’s a look at the seven managers with 1,000 or more wins that did not play in the majors:

Joe McCarthy, 2,215

Jim Leyland, 1,606 *

Earl Weaver, 1,480

Frank Selee, 1,284

John McNamara, 1,160

Jack McKeon, 1,051

Buck Showalter, 1009

If you take a look at the 30 managers now leading clubs in the majors, 24 played in the majors. Six of the 30 managers were catchers. Another interesting note is that every position is represented in the 24 managers who played in the majors. Here’s a breakdown of today’s 30 managers and the positions they played in the majors. Also noted are the six current managers who did not play major league baseball.

First Base: Don Mattingly

Second Base: Davey Johnson, Ron Washington

Shortstop: Bobby Valentine, Ron Gardenhire, Ozzie Guillen, Dale Sveum

Third Base: Brad Mills, Robin Ventura

Left Field: Dusty Baker, Charlie Manuel, Jim Tracy, Kirk Gibson

Center Field: Ron Roenicke

Right Field: Clint Hurdle

Catcher: Bruce Bochy, Mike Scioscia, Bob Melvin, Ned Yost, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny

Pitcher: Bud Black, John Farrell

Designated Hitter: Eric Wedge

Did not play in the majors: Jim Leyland, Buck Showalter, Terry Collins, Joe Maddon, Manny Acta, Fredi Gonzalez

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Following a Legend: 15 greatest managerial transitions in MLB history

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Photo I took of Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s no Albert Pujols, no Tony LaRussa and no Dave Duncan, but the St. Louis Cardinals and new skipper Mike Matheny are off a great start and sit atop the National League Central division with a 8-3 record.

For Matheny, not only is this gig his first professional managing position, but he is also replacing a legend in LaRussa. It begs the question: How successful have previous major league managers been when they replace a legend?

To answer that question, I established one simple criteria: I defined a managing legend as a manager who won 700 or more games with a particular team.

Here’s a look at the managers who managed the most games with a team after replacing a legend.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: Tommy Lasorda follows Walter Alston (first full season 1977). Alston won 2040 games with the Dodgers. Lasorda compiled a 1599-1439 record, leading the Dodgers to the playoffs seven times. He won two World Series in four appearances. He went to the World Series in 1977, the year after he replaced Alston. Lasorda managed 3040 games after replacing Alston.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jim Leyland follows Chuck Tanner (replaced in 1986). Tanner won 711 games with the Pirates. Leyland followed with 11 seasons at the helm compiling a 851-863 record, making the playoffs three times, losing each time in the National League Championship Series. Leyland managed 1716 games after replacing Tanner.

3. Minnesota Twins: Ron Gardenhire follows Tom Kelly (replaced in 2002). Kelly won a pair of World Series with the Twins and won 1140 games. He retired in 2001. Gardenhire is the current Twins skipper and has made the playoffs six times in 10 seasons. He has won 869 and lost 762 as Minnesota manager. Gardenhire has managed 1631 games after replacing Kelly.

4. New York Giants: Bill Terry follows John McGraw (first full season 1933). McGraw won 2583 games as Giants manager. Terry replaced McGraw in the middle of the 1932 season and led the Giants to a title the following year. He won 823 games and lost 661 with the Giants and lost consecutive World Series in 1936 and 1937. Terry managed 1496 games after replacing McGraw.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates: Chuck Tanner follows Danny Murtaugh (replaced in 1977). Murtaugh won 1115 games during four different stints with the Pirates. Tanner managed nine seasons winning 711 games and losing 685. He won the 1979 World Series. Tanner managed 1398 games after replacing Murtaugh.

6. Oakland A’s: Art Howe follows Tony LaRussa (replaced in 1996). LaRussa won 798 games with the A’s in nine-plus seasons. He won three pennants and one World Series. Howe made the playoffs in three of his seven years as A’s manager. He compiled a 600-533 record. Howe managed 1133 games after replacing LaRussa.

7. New York Giants: Mel Ott follows Bill Terry (replaced in 1942). Terry won 823 games with the Giants. Ott never managed in the playoffs; he was 464-530 as the Giants skipper. Ott managed 1004 games after replacing Terry.

8. Detroit Tigers: Ty Cobb follows Hughie Jennings (replaced in 1921). Jennings won 1131 games with Detroit. Cobb won 479 and lost 444 as the Tigers manager in six seasons. Cobb managed 933 games after Jennings.

9. Cleveland Indians: Al Lopez follows Lou Boudreau (replaced in 1951). Boudreau won 728 games with the Indians. Lopez managed six seasons after Boudreau and was 570-354 and lost one World Series. Lopez managed 930 games after replacing Boudreau.

10. San Diego Padres: Bud Black follows Bruce Bochy (replaced in 2007). Bochy won 951 games as Padres manager. Black is the current skipper managing his sixth season. He has a 391-431 record with San Diego. Black has managed 822 games after replacing Bochy.

11. New York Yankees: Joe Girardi follows Joe Torre (replaced in 2008). Torre won 1173 games in 12 seasons with the Yankees, winning six A.L. pennants and four World Series. Girardi won the World Series in 2009 and has a 389-269 record. Girardi has managed 658 games after replacing Torre.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates: Gene Lamont follows Jim Leyland (replaced in 1997). Leyland won 851 games in 11 seasons with Pittsburgh. Lamont managed four seasons going 295-352. Lamont managed 648 games after replacing Leyland.

13. San Francisco Giants: Felipe Alou follows Dusty Baker (replaced in 2003). Baker won 840 games with the Giants. Alou managed four seasons after Baker winning one pennant in his first season at the helm. He was 342-304 with the Giants. Alou managed 646 games after replacing Baker.

14. Cincinnati Reds: John McNamara follows Sparky Anderson (replaced in 1979). Sparky won 863 games with the Reds and managed in four World Series, winning two. McNamara followed Anderson with three-plus seasons as Reds skipper, winning 279 and losing 244. He made the playoffs once. McNamara managed 524 games after replacing Anderson.

15. New York Yankees: Ralph Houk follows Casey Stengel (replaced in 1961). Stengel won 10 pennants and seven World Series with the Yankees. He won 1149 games as New York’s manager. Houk managed three seasons following Stengel, winning 309 games in three seasons and winning two of three appearances in the World Series. Houk managed 486 games after replacing Stengel.